I have worked at a university for 12 years as a research scientist and at local government in the IT environment and records management for 14 years.
Having seen the development and rapid uptake of Social Media over the past few years I believe the way that people interact personally and transact professionally has changed forever. Being part of the SMBB network of Social Media Professionals I can offer a new and highly effective approach to online marketing , branding and business promotion.
I started my career in South Africa as a geography research scientist when computers were starting to emerge from novelty to a serious business tool. I was part of a project to map terrestrial asbestos pollution by analysing space imagery. This triggered my interest in computers applications and put me on a path that led to being a Business and Records Management Analyst with the Cape Town Metro Council.
I was Project Managers for a number of business application development projects while working in the IT Department. I qualified as a Records Manager with the National Archives of South Africa to better understand the records management needs of Local Government when developing and implementing records management software.
My wife, daughter and I relocated to Australia in 2010 in what panned out to be a life and also career changing experience. I joined the City of Darwin as Strategic Records Management Analyst and it was during that period that I realised the need for businesses, whether public or private, to start actively engaging with their audience on the different social platforms of the day.
Being in the same industry for 14 years, I was looking for a lifestyle change when I saw the SMBB franchise opportunity. I realised that this is a business concept that is built upon evolving and not passing technology.
What role does social media play in your day-to-day routine? Professional and personal.
As a SMBB Consultant my job is all about social media. Up to a few years ago I regarded social media as a new toy for the youngsters. I was under a lot of pressure from friends and family to join in but to be honest, I was too involved in my career and hobbies to take note.
While working in the records management field I noticed the amount of records being created by social media. Looking into this made me realise the power of social media in today’s business environment.
What was your background prior to joining Social Media Business Boosters?
I left school in 1975 and went to do what was then compulsory National Service in the South African Defence Force. I then completed an Honours degree in Geography before entering the workforce as a Researcher in Geography at the North West University in South Africa. For the next 12 years my job was to initiate and conduct a variety of research projects in the field of Geography.
From there we relocated to Cape Town, one of the most beautiful spots in South Africa. I spent the next 12 years of my life working in the IT department of the City of Cape Town. There I gained valuable experience in software development, business analysis and project management.
It was during this period that I became involved in a big records management software implementation that eventually launched a career in records management that brought me to Australia.
I got into the social media business through curiosity from a different perspective.
While working in the records management field I noticed the amount of records being created by social media and looking into this, I realised the power of social media in today’s business environment.
Can you tell us a little about your existing marketing experience/skills?
I come from a different background to marketing, but I realised that my background in business analysis and project management gave me the skills to utilise all the available tools and opportunities to launch a career in marketing backed by a national network of marketing professionals.
What’s the most important change for you in the last year to do with technology that you want to share?
I am still astonished by the pace at which computing power finds its way into our daily lives in every form possible. It made me realise how important it is to personally and professionally embrace development and be proactive in utilising it to stay ahead in today’s competitive society marketplace. Use it or lose out.
What are you most optimistic about for social media in the next 12 months?
Social media’s rapid change from hype to a serious business tool is a clear indication that the business environment is recognising its importance to reach clients effectively.
What makes your business different?
The fact that we use a skillset and a toolset that can be adapted to serve a diverse group of clients.
What challenges have you overcome to get where you are now?
For me personally it was a journey to move from a corporate salaried working environment to a new business model where social interaction replaced the sanctuary of the laboratory and the project room. Having said that, social media opened my eyes to all the opportunities that the connected world we are living in offers.